Online reviews are the catalyst that permeate your business reputation in many different places across the internet and social media world.
When businesses monitor and groom their online reviews, these magical snippets of consumer perspective can be used to the business’s advantage. This includes not only getting a sense of what you’re doing well and what you could work on, but cultivating a positive brand reputation.
A brand’s online reputation is harpooned by what we read on the internet – the publicly posted conversations, customer feedback, ratings and reviews. Reviews and ratings largely make up your online reputation. They don’t go unnoticed. A single meager negative review can chase off potential customers and send them catapulting to your competitors.
That’s why online reputation monitoring is so important. Some do this manually, others ramp up their strategies with online reputation monitoring tools that do the heavy lifting for them. Review monitoring helps you keep track of what’s being said about you online.
In order to protect and cultivate a positive online reputation, you need to monitor these reviews, learn from them, and stay on top of productively responding to them.
In this post we will be discussing what online reputation monitoring is, why it’s important, and how you can monitor your online reviews to manage your brand reputation. Let’s get to it.
Online reputation simply refers to your business’s reputation in the online world – what people think of your business generally. It’s largely driven by those glimpses of consumer thought, wrapped up in the form of a publicly posted review and rating.
Most businesses are aware of the magnitude a single bad review can bring, and the opportunities a positive review can provide. 97% of business owners see this as a vital factor to a strong and successful business.
Online reputation monitoring refers to the process of monitoring what people say about your business.
Monitoring your reviews means you can extinguish potential issues and respond quickly to extinguish any damage. Responding promptly to even your positive reviews is beneficial to your online reputation; responsive businesses perform better in local search. Today’s consumers also actively check for review responses from business owners.
People appreciate an active and responsive brand.
Online reputation monitoring allows you to take a productive approach with your negative reviews, limiting the damage, and to help foster your positive reputation by responding to happy customers, which people appreciate.
There is a sense of urgency with your online reputation management. The earlier you notice the complaints and negative reviews, the better. Because you can immediately attend to that problem before it affects your operations and how other people perceive your business.
But as well as managing customer feedback, reputation monitoring also allows you to develop a sense of what you’re doing well, and what you’re not doing so well.
It doesn’t matter the size of the business. Online reputation management is crucial for any brand, big or small or somewhere in between. No matter the size of the business, online reputation monitoring is beneficial. And even small to medium-sized businesses can also get a boost from it.
Knowing makes all the difference between competing with a shiny brand reputation and closing your doors. According to Chatmeter.com:
84% of Americans say online reviews have an influence on their decision to purchase.
97% of review readers find the review they read to be accurate. A few bad reviews can quickly drive away business.
And there are a bunch of places they’ll talk about you and post their reviews. The first of which is Facebook, where nearly a billion people hangout throughout the day, and Twitter, which can be thought of as a consumer insights engine. Many businesses will monitor Facebook pages and conduct Twitter monitoring to keep an eye on competitors’ online reviews, and how they execute on customer service.
In fact, according to Joe Rice, who leads Twitter’s EMEA Data & Enterprise Solutions, “Twitter is the world’s largest focus group because at its core, Twitter is a consumer insights engine. What do people think about a certain topic or trend? What are their needs, moods and mindsets?
So it’s important to stay on top of what people are posting about you. But what’s the best way to do this?
Sign up with Visualping to monitor any web page to stay on top of you or your competitors' customer reviews, and get alerts of the latest updates.
You can do this manually, by checking, yourself, each review platform for new reviews. Or, you can use one of the many review monitoring tools out there, available online, for businesses to do just this.
Manual review monitoring is time-consuming. There’s also a higher risk of reviews being missed, because you, or the employee managing the online reviews, is human and can overlook certain reviews sites or miss new reviews and make mistakes.
If you’re doing it manually, then this requires carrying out additional manual tasks to then make sense of your data, such as common sentiments and overarching themes in your customer feedback.
That’s consolidating the text of the reviews together in one central location, like a shared google Excel sheet, and then manually organizing the reviews in categories or themes.
Look out for phrases such as ‘fast delivery’, ‘helpful’, ‘good customer service’, and individual product names. This will clue you in as to what people are liking, buying, and wanting more of.
You may also notice that there’s a correlation between these attributes and the reviews in a prominent position on your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business). Google takes note when people regularly mention a particular element of service, such as ‘fast delivery’, or ‘outdoor dining’, and will add this as a highlight to your GBP on mobile devices.
If you’re review monitoring manually, then you also want to incorporate your social media pages in the mix, too. Checking your social media is one of the easiest ways to know what people are saying about your business. If they have a complaint, they’ll make sure to tag your account for you to do something about it. The same goes for when they’ll praise you.
Using a review monitoring tool, like Visualping, makes the reputation management process much more efficient.
These tools conduct the time-consuming work of checking for new reviews for you, and on all the different review sites you want to stay on top of. With a tool doing the work for you, you can monitor more review sites, and keep tabs on more reviews, then you ever could before.
On top of efficiency and scale, a review monitoring tool eliminates the risk of important reviews being missed. The alerts also make it easier to respond promptly, because the rools reliably check at preset intervals, and more frequently than a human employee – who needs lunch breaks, and is probably tasked with other jobs throughout the workday, too.
The best online reputation monitoring tools aren’t super techy and complicated. They’re easy-to-use, and simply make your online reputation management more effective – because you’re staying on top of more than you could before – and more manageable.
The first step to monitoring online reviews for your business is to make a list of the review sites you want to track. This should consist of both general review sites, such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook, along with industry-specific sites tailored to your business.
If you’re not sure which review sites are specific to your business, then an easy way to make some discoveries is to ask your customers which review platforms they use. Or, Google search your competitors’ reviews, and see if you can discover any specific review sites that way. When you search for the company name, which review sites appear at the top of the results page?
Check out their homepages. Do they have certain badges on their sites, such as a badge from Tripadvisor or Trustpilot? This is gathering competitive intelligence to piggyback off your competitors’ activities and it’s genius.
There are even competitive monitoring tools available to help you keep an eye on your competitors, like their reviews, to gather insights and see how your brand reputation measures in comparison. Just like how you may conduct price drop tracking to see when your competitors lower their prices, you can check up on their reviews, too.
As you build your list of sites to monitor, keep a record of any important sites that you don’t already appear on. You’ll need to start the process of review generation on these platforms.
With over 2 million users, Visualping is a website change detection and monitoring tool that can be used for a plethora of web page tracking purposes – among them, review monitoring.
It’s been mentioned by NBC, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Politico, among other press, as a simple and easy-to-use tool for getting price drop alerts.
Visualping automatically checks web pages you want it to for changes. It checks the content at preset intervals, at a frequency you specify. When a change is detected, Visualping sends the user an automatic email alert, with the changes highlighted so they’re easy to see.
The alert includes a screenshot of the web page, with all the changes highlighted for you to see.
There’s also a link, at the bottom of the alert, so you can navigate to your monitored page and check out the review in the site, and write a response promptly.
And getting setup with Visualping is easy.
To get started, you simply navigate to Visualping’s homepage, and copy and paste the URL of the review page you want to track.
Next, customize your monitoring settings, such as the part of the page you want monitored – like where new reviews pop up – how often you want the page checked, and the email address you want the alerts sent to.
To add items to a watchlist, simply repeat this process with each review page URL you want automatically monitored for changes.
And you’re done!
Once you complete creating your account, you can login to your user dashboard, where you can view and manage all your monitors and email alerts in one location.
Step 1: Copy and paste the URL of the review page you want to monitor into the search field on Visualping’s homepage. You don’t need to first sign up. Click Go.
Step 2: Once the page appears in the viewport, select the part of the page you want monitored.
Step 3: Specify the frequency you want Visualping to check the page – every 5 minutes, 30 minutes, hourly, daily, etc.
Step 4: Type the email address you want the alerts to be sent to. Click Start Monitoring, and that’s it!
Step 5: Visualping will send you an email, asking you to make a password for your account. Don’t forget to do this. The password completes your account, which you need in order to monitor reviews and get notifications of new reviews.
For the higher frequency options, Visualping offers both freemium and affordable subscription options for businesses to keep on top of reviews at scale.
It’s important that negative reviews are quickly addressed to prevent damage to your reputation, so an automated tool is often the best bet.
Customers gripe for a lot of reasons. Maybe they didn’t get waited on fast enough, your product didn’t function as expected, or maybe a coupon expired and your assistant didn’t honor it.
Responding quickly to these kinds of reviews can help thwart any damage. Posting a response shows you are listening to your buyers and taking action, which consumers appreciate.
Yes, there are “haters,” out there who just love to vent online. When you respond to them, just tell those negative reviewers that you took their comments seriously and are working to make your business even better.
If it is really serious, invite the buyer to contact you and include your email address or phone number. It shows you are trying. Just like in your store, a carefully written response can turn a negative situation into a positive one.
Negative reviews can sometimes sound a lot louder than positive ones. But when fans rave about you, you need to notice.
A simple “Thanks so much for the compliment” may do for a general compliment, but take time to address any specific topics the buyer has mentioned to personalize the response.
With the majority of consumers spending most of their time surfing the internet, online reputation management becomes more and more important.
Managing your online reputation isn’t difficult to do, but it requires your attention – whether that’s checking up on reviews manually, or setting up a tool to ensure quick response times and to help you cultivate a positive reputation online.
Happy review monitoring!